Ahead of his departure from the White House Wednesday, President Donald Trump Sunday issued a presidential proclamation recognizing this Friday as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

This year marks the fourth year in a row that Trump has recognized National Sanctity of Human Life Day in January. Jan. 22 marks the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling making abortion a national right.

The president used the proclamation to speak out against the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade, tout his administration’s accomplishments on behalf of the pro-life movement and call on the American people to respect the sanctity of life. 

He began by declaring that “[e]very human life is a gift to the world.”

“On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonder of human existence and renew our resolve to build a culture of life where every person of every age is protected, valued and cherished,” the proclamation reads. 

Trump described Roe as a “constitutionally flawed ruling” that “overturned State laws that banned abortion.” The proclamation claims that the ruling “has resulted in the loss of more than 50 million innocent lives.”

The proclamation praises the activism of the pro-life movement and its advocates, who support policy initiatives that restrict the legality of abortion.

“Strong mothers, courageous students, and incredible community members and people of faith are leading a powerful movement to awaken America’s conscience and restore the belief that every life is worthy of respect, protection, and care,” Trump stated. 

The president cited “the devotion of countless pro-life pioneers” as the reason why “the rate of abortions has steadily decreased.”

“Today, more than three out of every four Americans support restrictions on abortion,” the proclamation asserted without citing a source. 

The president devoted a substantial portion of his proclamation to outlining his pro-life record.

“Since the beginning, my Administration has been dedicated to lifting up every American, and that starts with protecting the rights of the most vulnerable in our society — the unborn,” the document states. 

He specifically referenced his reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico City Policy, which bans the use of taxpayer funds for nongovernmental organizations that promote abortion. He also mentioned his appointment of more than 200 judges to the federal judiciary as well as his administration’s efforts to “improve our Nation’s adoption and foster care system, secure more funding for Down syndrome research, and expand health services for single mothers.”

“At the United Nations, I made clear that global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that protect innocent life,” he added. “Just a few months ago, our Nation also joined 32 other countries in signing the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which bolsters global efforts to provide better healthcare to women, protect all human life, and strengthen families.”

Additionally, Trump boasted about how he was the first president in history to attend the March for Life last year.  

Trump also criticized Democratic politicians who fought against legislation that would have banned most abortions past 20 weeks of gestation.  

“However, some in Washington are fighting to keep the United States among a small handful of nations – including North Korea and China – that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks,” Trump contended. “I join with countless others who believe this is morally and fundamentally wrong, and today, I renew my call on the Congress to pass legislation prohibiting late-term abortion.”

Given the narrow Democratic majorities in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and the fact Democrat Joe Biden is slated to replace him in the White House, Trump’s call for pro-life legislation will likely go unanswered for the time being. 

Biden has vowed to codify Roe into law. Meanwhile, Democrats have called for the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the use of taxpayer dollars to cover elective abortions. Biden had for years supported the Hyde Amendment but reversed his position in 2019 amid criticism from other Democratic politicians. 

“We resolve to defend the lives of every innocent and unborn child, each of whom can bring unbelievable love, joy, beauty and grace into our Nation and the entire world,” Trump concluded. “I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born.”

The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. is typically held each year to coincide with the anniversary of Roe. With the inauguration this week, the march for this year was slated for next Friday. However, leaders announced last week that the 2021 march is canceled and will be replaced by a virtual rally. 

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